Holiday Gift Guides 2019: Made in Mexico

High-quality tequila, handcrafted home goods and more items from San Miguel Allende to Oaxaca

Presented in partnership with Casa Dragones

Exquisitely made, with a strong history dating back to 1671 in San Miguel Allende, Casa Dragones is a brand steeped in tradition and craftsmanship. With those valuable qualities in mind, we set out to select beautifully crafted, covetable and practical products made in Mexico, from the country’s central highlands to CDMX and even Oaxaca. With a range of prices for all budgets, each has been thoughtfully made and reflects local artisan techniques.

Tequila Casa Dragones Joven

Sophisticated and exquisitely crafted, Casa Dragones Joven ($285) is a small-batch, master blend of 100% Blue Agave silver and extra-aged tequila. This liquid is complex and nuanced, but soft, smooth and satisfying; ideal for sipping slowly on its own or pairing with food. With notes of citrus, florals, spice and vanilla, it’s a bright and elegant tequila. Not only is the liquid impeccably made, but each signed and numbered crystal bottle itself is handcrafted and engraved by Mexican artisans.

Blue Otomí Tablecloth

This beautifully made tablecloth ($1250) celebrates traditional craft and design, through the style of embroidery that was revived in the 1960s by indigenous Otomí women—when their predominantly farming region faced difficulty caused by severe drought. The dynamic, intricate embroidery includes animal and plant motifs, each symbolic in its own right. This images are said to be based on cave paintings, memories and dreams. Measuring 68 inches in diameter, this glorious tablecloth is finished with a linen border and is almost too pretty to cover up with dinner settings.

Floral Bouquet Candle

Each one of these glorious and intricately designed candles ($28) is made by hand in Mexico City, so no two are identical. Its bright yellow hue is cheerful and striking, and it stands at approximately four inches tall. ARO focuses on items made by independent and emerging designers and artisans, and these beautifully made wax bouquet candles are evidence of that.

Green Huichol Beaded Bull Skull

Made by Carlos Bautista, this one-of-a-kind traditional Huichol beaded skull ($640) has been intricately and painstakingly hand-beaded to create a mesmerizing piece of art. Bautista, who is one of those keeping the tradition alive, is based in San Andrés Cohamiata, a town that’s autonomously governed by Wixárika (also known as Huichol) people, and it’s there that he creates his labor-intensive artworks. Measuring 27 by 18 by 10 inches, this skull can be hung on a wall or displayed on any flat surface.

Three Little Pigs Bowls

Designed by Alberta Mateo and María Gutiérrez and manufactured by Colectivo 1050° in Oaxaca, these handmade clay bowls ($93) resemble a trio of pigs. Each dish is hollowed out, but is shallow enough to hold tea candles and various tchotchkes. The set of three (each of which is differently sized) are hand-crafted and are evidence of Colectivo, Mateo and Gutiérrez’s collective commitment to keeping the craft, skills and tradition alive.

Woven Leather Baguette

This TRUSS woven leather bag ($335) is made with buttery black leather sourced in Leon, Mexico and woven together with brightly colored plastic. With a bold, beaded (and detachable) strap, this jewel-toned baguette is sophisticated yet playful. TRUSS works closely with Mexican artisans, ensuring that sustainable relationships are maintained with individuals and the community as a whole. The brand also partners with the Oaxaca City-based Fondo Guadalupe Musalem to offer financial support and mentorships with the organization that’s dedicated to supporting young Oaxacan women.

Marble Mortar and Pestle Set

Handcrafted by an artisan family based in Southern Mexico, this lovely Rosado marble mortar and pestle ($39) stands out for its unique hue and its one-of-a-kind details—as the marbling differs from one to the next. Made from marble sourced from Puebla, the pink hue is exclusive to this region, rendering this spice-grinding a colorful and special kitchen centerpiece.

Hand-Etched Recycled Blue Bureau Pitcher With Glass

Crafted from carefully sourced recycled glass in Mexico, this 64-ounce pitcher ($72) is a practical size, but it’s the delightful etched flowers and leaves that make it so covetable. Hand-blown and hand-etched by skilled artisans, the pitcher comes with a matching glass, making it an ideal nightstand. Each purchase includes a donation to Rose Ann Hall Designs in San Miguel de Allende, a workshop that provides training and employment for locals—many of whom have physical disabilities and have not earned an income before. By offering technical training and dignified, creative work, this workshop empowers many local makers and has resuscitated a significant tradition.

Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image by St Frank